Gareth Bale completes second Real Madrid session before Barcelona, Raphael Varane rejoins group

Eduardo Fernandez-Abascal
Raphael Varane

Real Madrid's run of good news ahead of the visit of Barcelona continued in Friday's training session after Raphael Varane rejoined the group following a spell on the sidelines. The France international may not be available for El Clasico on Sunday (23 April) but the news is another boost for Los Blancos in their quest to fight for the La Liga and Champions League double.

The La Liga leaders arrive at the second El Clasico of the campaign full of optimism following Tuesday night's qualification for the Champions League semi-finals (where they will play Atletico Madrid) by beating Bayern Munich. Furthermore, Los Blancos are on course to conquer La Liga this season as they are three points ahead of Barcelona with one game in hand.

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The situation is completely different at the Nou Camp, as on Wednesday night the Catalans were knocked out of the Champions League by Juventus.

Real Madrid have also received a couple of boosts from the treatment room in the form of Gareth Bale and Varane.

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The Wales international has missed the last two games after picking up a calf injury during the first leg of the Champions League quarter finals against the Bundesliga giants on 12 April.

However, on Thursday Real Madrid revealed he was back in training as Los Blancos began preparations for the visit of Barcelona.

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And while Bale completed another workout on Friday morning the La Liga leaders have revealed that long-term absentee Varane also rejoined the group during the first part of the session.

"Real Madrid continued their preparations as they get ready to welcome Barcelona on Sunday night (8:45pm CEST). The league leaders completed their penultimate training session ahead of El Clásico, with the most notable element being the presence of Varane with the rest of the group. The centre-back finished the first half of the session alongside his teammates before departing to work on an individual basis," the club confirmed, while adding that "Pepe continued with his recovery program" on his own.

The visit of Barcelona may come too early for the France international as he is yet to play a game since the win over Alaves on 2 April.

Yet, the news is still a boost for Zidane ahead of the crucial last part of the campaign after he had been down to just Sergio Ramos and Nacho in recent games due to the injuries of the other two centre-backs.

Pepe is definitely ruled out to face Barcelona but could be back for the first leg of the Champions League semi-finals with Atletico Madrid on 2 May to give Zidane a fully fit squad.

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